We examined whether six patient-provider communication behaviors directly affected the intraocular pressure (IOP) of glaucoma patients or whether patient medication adherence and eye drop technique mediated the relationship between self-efficacy, communication, and IOP.
During an 8-month, longitudinal study of 279 glaucoma patients and 15 providers, two office visits were videotape-recorded, transcribed, and coded for six patient-provider communication behaviors. Medication adherence was measured electronically and IOP was extracted from medical records. We ran generalized estimating equations to examine the direct effects of communication on IOP and used bootstrapping to test whether medication adherence and eye drop technique mediated the effect of communication on IOP.
Provider education about medication adherence (B = −0.50, p < 0.05) and inclusion of patient input into the treatment plan (B = −0.35, p < 0.05) predicted improved IOP. There was no evidence of significant mediation.
The positive effects of provider education and provider inclusion of patient input in the treatment plan were not mediated by adherence and eye drop technique.
Providers should educate glaucoma patients about the importance of medication adherence and include patient input into their treatment plan.
Glaucoma; Patient-provider communication; Medication adherence; Eye drop technique; Mediation analysis
Glaucoma medications can reduce intraocular pressure and improve clinical outcomes when patients adhere to their medication regimen. Providers often ask glaucoma patients to self-report their adherence, but the accuracy of this self-report method has received little scientific attention. Our purpose was to compare a self-report medication adherence measure with adherence data collected from Medication Event Monitoring Systems (MEMS) electronic monitors. Additionally, we sought to identify which patient characteristics were associated with over-reporting adherence on the self-reported measure.
English-speaking adult glaucoma patients were recruited for this observational cohort study from six ophthalmology practices. Patients were interviewed immediately after a baseline medical visit and were given MEMS containers, which were used to record adherence over a 60-day period. MEMS data were used to calculate percent adherence, which measured the percentage of the prescribed number of doses taken, and timing adherence, which assessed the percent doses taken on time. Patients self-reported adherence to their glaucoma medications on a visual analog scale (VAS) approximately 60 days following the baseline visit. Bivariate analyses and logistic regressions were used to analyze the data. Self-reported medication adherence on the VAS was plotted against MEMS adherence to illustrate the level of discrepancy between self-reported and electronically-monitored adherence.
The analyses included 240 patients who returned their MEMS containers and who self-reported medication adherence at the 60-day follow-up visit. When compared with MEMS-measured percent adherence, 31% of patients (n=75) over-estimated their adherence on the VAS. When compared with MEMS-measured timing adherence, 74% (n=177) of patients over-estimated their adherence on the VAS. For the MEMS-measured percent adherence, logistic regression revealed that patients who were newly prescribed glaucoma medications were significantly more likely to over-report adherence on the VAS (OR=3.07, 95% CI: 1.22, 7.75). For the MEMS–measured timing adherence, being male (chi-square=6.78, p=0.009) and being prescribed glaucoma medications dosed multiple times daily (chi-square =4.02, p=0.045) were significantly associated with patients over-reporting adherence on the VAS. However, only male gender remained a significant predictor of over-reporting adherence in the logistic regression, (OR=4.05, 95% CI: 1.73, 9.47).
Many glaucoma patients, especially new patients, over-estimated their medication adherence. Because patients were likely to over-report percent doses taken and timing adherence, providers may want to ask patients additional questions about when they take their glaucoma medications in order to potentially detect issues with taking glaucoma medications on time.
glaucoma; self-reported medication adherence; electronically-monitored medication adherence
The objective of the study was to examine the association between provider-patient communication, glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and glaucoma medication adherence.
Prospective observational cohort study.
279 patients with glaucoma who were newly prescribed or on glaucoma medications were recruited at six ophthalmology clinics.
Patients’ visits were video-tape recorded and communication variables were coded using a detailed coding tool developed by the authors. Adherence was measured using Medication Event Monitoring Systems for 60 days after their visits.
Main outcome measures
The following adherence variables were measured for the 60 day period after their visits: whether the patient took 80% or more of the prescribed doses, percent correct number of prescribed doses taken each day, and percent prescribed doses taken on time.
Higher glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy was positively associated with better adherence with all three measures. African American race was negatively associated with percent correct number of doses taken each day (beta= −0.16, p<0.05) and whether the patient took 80% or more of the prescribed doses (odds ratio=0.37, 95% confidence interval 0.16, 0.86). Physician education about how to administer drops was positively associated with percent correct number of doses taken each day (beta= 0.18, p<0.01) and percent prescribed doses taken on time (beta=0.15, p<0.05).
These findings indicate that provider education about how to administer glaucoma drops and patient glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy are positively associated with adherence.
Many studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects that pharmacist-provided patient care services can have on patient health outcomes. However, the effectiveness of patient care services delivered by pharmacists in community pharmacy settings, where organizational barriers may affect service implementation or limit effectiveness, remains unclear. The authors systematically reviewed the literature on the effectiveness of pharmacist-delivered patient care services in community pharmacy settings in the United States. Of the 749 articles retrieved, 21 were eligible for inclusion in the review. Information concerning 134 outcomes was extracted from the included articles. Of these, 50 (37.3%) demonstrated statistically significant, beneficial intervention effects. The percentage of studies reporting favorable findings ranged from 50% for blood pressure to 0% for lipids, safety outcomes, and quality of life. Our findings suggest that evidence supporting the effectiveness of pharmacist-provided direct patient care services delivered in the community pharmacy setting is more limited than in other settings.
pharmacists; direct patient care; systematic review; community pharmacies
Although there are several different general diabetes self-efficacy scales, there is a need to develop a self-efficacy scale that providers can use to assess patient’s self-efficacy regarding medication use. The purpose of this study was to: 1) develop a new diabetes medication self-efficacy scale and 2) examine how diabetes medication self-efficacy is associated with patient-reported problems in using diabetes medications and self-reported adherence.
Patients and methods
Adult English-speaking patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited from a family medicine clinic and a pharmacy in Eastern North Carolina, USA. The patients were eligible if they reported being nonadherent to their diabetes medicines on a visual analog scale. Multivariable regression was used to examine the relationship between self-efficacy and the number of reported diabetes medication problems and adherence.
The diabetes medication self-efficacy scale had strong reliability (Cronbach’s alpha =0.86). Among a sample (N=51) of mostly African-American female patients, diabetes medication problems were common (6.1±3.1) and a greater number of diabetes medications were associated with lower medication adherence (odds ratio: 0.35; 95% confidence interval: 0.13, 0.89). Higher medication self-efficacy was significantly related to medication adherence (odds ratio: 1.17; 95% confidence interval: 1.05, 1.30) and inversely related to the number of self-reported medication problems (β=−0.13; P=0.006).
Higher diabetes medication self-efficacy was associated with fewer patient-reported medication problems and better medication adherence. Assessing medication-specific self-efficacy may help to identify medication-related problems that providers can help the patients address, potentially improving adherence and patient outcomes.
diabetes; adherence; self-efficacy; literacy
Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is a brand‐specific and standardized source of written medicine information available in Australia for all prescription medicines. Side‐effect information is poorly presented in CMI and may not adequately address consumer information needs.
To explore consumer opinions on (i) the presentation of side‐effect information in existing Australian CMI leaflets and alternative study‐designed CMIs and (ii) side‐effect risk information and its impact on treatment decision making.
Fuzzy trace, affect heuristic, frequency hypothesis and cognitive‐experiential theories were applied when revising existing CMI side‐effects sections. Together with good information design, functional linguistics and medicine information expertise, alternative ramipril and clopidogrel CMI versions were proposed. Focus groups were then conducted to address the study objectives.
Participants and setting
Three focus groups (n = 18) were conducted in Sydney, Australia. Mean consumer age was 58 years (range 50–65 years), with equal number of males and females.
All consumers preferred the alternative CMIs developed as part of the study, with unequivocal preference for the side‐effects presented in a simple tabular format, as it allowed quick and easy access to information. Consumer misunderstandings reflected literacy and numeracy issues inherent in consumer risk appraisal. Many preferred no numerical information and a large proportion preferred natural frequencies.
One single method of risk presentation in CMI is unable to cater for all consumers. Consumer misunderstandings are indicative of possible health literacy and numeracy factors that influence consumer risk appraisal, which should be explored further.
consumer opinions; risk communication; side effects; written medicine information
The purpose of this study was to examine if patient demographic factors influenced self-reporting of medication side effects, difficulty with drop instillation and nonadherence to glaucoma therapy.
English-speaking adult glaucoma patients (n=279) from six ophthalmology clinics were enrolled. Patients’ medical visits were videotaped and patients were interviewed immediately afterwards by research assistants. The videotapes were transcribed verbatim and coded to identify patients who expressed problems with medication side effects, eye drop administration, and non-adherence during the glaucoma office visits. Generalized estimating equations were performed to identify whether patient characteristics were associated with expression of problems with glaucoma medication and medication non-adherence during the office visit.
Patients with lower health literacy were significantly less likely to express problems with side effects (OR (95%CI) = 0.47 (0.25, 0.88)) and eye drop administration (OR (95%CI) = 0.26 (0.11, 0.63)) during the visit. Patients who reported eye drop administration and side effect problems during the interview were significantly more likely to express these problems to their ophthalmologists, (OR (95%CI) = 3.13 (1.82, 5.37)); (OR (95%CI) = 1.86 (1.12, 3.08)) respectively. Patients who expressed a problem with eye drop administration and with side effects were significantly more likely to express medication non-adherence to their ophthalmologist (OR (95%CI) = 2.89 (1.44, 5.80)); (OR (95%CI) = 2.03 (1.16, 3.54)). Patients who reported greater than 80% medication adherence during the interview were significantly less likely to express non-adherence to their ophthalmologist (OR (95%CI) = 0.22 (0.12, 0.40)).
Eye care providers should be aware that glaucoma patients with lower health literacy are less likely to express problems with side effects and eye drop administration. Providers should work with patients to assess medication-related problems in order to mitigate potential barriers to medication adherence since patients who expressed medication problems were also more likely to express non-adherence.
patient expression; glaucoma; medications; adherence; health literacy
We describe the medication information-seeking behaviors of arthritis patients’ partners and explore whether partner medication information-seeking and information-sharing are associated with patient medication adherence.
Arthritis patients and their partners (n=87 dyads) completed an on-line questionnaire. Partners indicated how often they obtained medication information from 14 sources, how much they trusted these sources, and whether they shared medication information with the patient. Patients reported their medication adherence. Bivariate associations were calculated to explore the relationships between partner information-seeking, information-sharing, and patient medication adherence.
Partners sought little information about the patient's medications. Partners sought more information if the patient's medication regimen was more complex (r=0.33, p= 0.002). Most partners (~98%) shared medication information with the patient; older partners shared more information with the patient (r=0.25, p=0.03). Neither partner information-seeking (r=0.21, p=0.06) nor partner information-sharing (r=0.12, p=0.31) were significantly associated with patient medication adherence.
Although partners of arthritis patients do not seek large amounts of medication information, the vast majority share this information with the patient.
Involving partners in medical consultations can help them better understand the patient's medications, have questions answered by providers, and engage in more informed discussions with patients about their medications.
Arthritis; Partner; Information-seeking; Information-sharing
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the attentional coping styles (monitoring and blunting) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) patients and: (a) receipt of medication information; (b) receipt of conflicting medication information; (c) ambiguity aversion; (d) medication-related discussions with doctors and spouse/partners; and (e) medication adherence.
A sample of 328 adults with a self-reported diagnosis of arthritis (RA n=159; OA n=149) completed an Internet-based survey. Coping style was assessed using the validated short version of the Miller Behavioral Style Scale. Measures related to aspects of medication information receipt and discussion and validated measures of ambiguity aversion and medication adherence (Vasculitis Self-Management Survey) were collected. Pearson correlation coefficients, ANOVA, independent samples t-tests and multiple regression models were used to assess associations between coping style and the other variables of interest.
Arthritis patients in our sample were more likely to be high monitors (50%) than high blunters (36%). Among RA patients, increased information-receipt was significantly associated with decreased monitoring (b = -1.06, p = .001). Among OA patients, increased information-receipt was significantly associated with increased blunting (b = .60, p = .02).
In our sample of patients with arthritis, attentional coping style is not in accordance with the characteristic patterns outlined in the acute and chronic disease coping literature.
Arthritis; Attentional coping style; Medication adherence; Self-management behavior; Stress-coping theory
Side effects and side-effect risk information can be provided using written medicine information. However, challenges exist in effectively communicating this information to consumers. This study aimed to explore broad consumer profiles relevant to ramipril and clopidogrel side-effect risk information interpretation.
Three focus groups were conducted (n=18 consumers) exploring consumer perspectives, understanding and treatment decision making in response to ramipril and clopidogrel written medicine information leaflets containing side effects and side-effect risk information. All discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed to explore consumer profiles pertaining to side-effect risk appraisal.
Three consumer profiles emerged: glass half-empty, glass half-full, and middle-of-the-road consumers, highlighting the influence of perceived individual susceptibility, interpretation of side-effect risk information, and interindividual differences, on consumers’ understanding of side-effect risk information. All profiles emphasized the importance of gaining an understanding of individual side-effect risk when taking medicines.
Written side-effect risk information is not interpreted uniformly by consumers. Consumers formulated their own construct of individual susceptibility to side effects. Health care professionals should consider how consumers interpret side-effect risk information and its impact on medication use. Existing risk communication strategies should be evaluated in light of these profiles to determine their effectiveness in conveying information.
adverse effects; risk assessment; drug labeling; consumer participation; comprehension
The purpose of this preliminary study was to describe the extent to which providers used collaborative goal setting and individualized assessment with patients who were newly prescribed glaucoma medications.
English-speaking glaucoma suspect patients from six ophthalmology clinics who were newly prescribed glaucoma medications had their medical visits video-tape recorded and were interviewed after the visits. The video-tapes were transcribed and coded to examine provider use of collaborative goal setting and individualized assessment.
Fifty-one patients seeing 12 ophthalmologists participated. Providers gave patients glaucoma treatment options during 37% of the visits; only five providers gave patients treatment options Providers asked for patient treatment preferences in less than 20% of the visits; only two providers asked for patient treatment preferences. Providers were significantly more likely to ask African American patients for their preferences or ideas concerning treatment than non-African American patients (Pearson chi-square= 4.1, p=0.04). Providers were also significantly more likely to ask African American patients about their confidence in using glaucoma medication regularly than non-African American patients (Pearson chi-square=8.2, p=0.004). Providers asked about patient views about glaucoma in less than 20% of the visits; five providers asked patients their views on glaucoma and its treatment. Providers were significantly more likely to ask African American patients about their views of glaucoma than non-African American patients (Pearson chi-square=5.62, p=0.02).
Eye care providers often did not use collaborative goal setting or conduct individualized assessments of patient views of glaucoma when prescribing treatment for the first time.
goal-setting; assessment; glaucoma; medications
To develop a measure of illness self-management for adults living with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated small-vessel vasculitis (ANCA-SVV) and to gather evidence of its reliability and validity.
Development of the Vasculitis Self-Management Scale (VSMS) was guided by previous research on self-management in other chronically ill populations, a review of the current treatment literature for ANCA-SVV, interviews with patients, and consultation with experts. A total of 205 patients living with ANCA-SVV or a closely related condition then completed the VSMS, along with measures of sociodemographic and clinical variables, social desirability bias, and general adherence to medical recommendations, using a self-administered mailed questionnaire. A principal components analysis was conducted on the VSMS items. Internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the resulting subscales were assessed. Forty-four patients completed the VSMS a second time, for the purpose of assessing test-retest reliability.
Analyses suggested an 8-factor solution. The final VSMS consisted of 43 items representing these 8 behavioral domains. Correlations among the 8 domains were null to modest in magnitude. The internal consistency reliability of the 8 subscales ranged from minimally acceptable (α = 0.67) to excellent (α = 0.94), and correlations between subscale scores at time 1 and time 2 suggested good temporal stability. Preliminary evidence for validity was mixed.
These findings suggest that the VSMS is a promising method for assessing illness self-management in adults with ANCA-SVV. More research exploring the validity of the measure is warranted.
Systemic vasculitis; Illness self-management; Health behavior; Psychometrics
Objective. The purpose of this study was to examine how patient, physician, and situational factors are associated with the extent to which providers educate patients about glaucoma and glaucoma medications, and which patient and provider characteristics are associated with whether providers educate patients about glaucoma and glaucoma medications. Methods. Patients with glaucoma who were newly prescribed or on glaucoma medications were recruited and a cross-sectional study was conducted at six ophthalmology clinics. Patients' visits were videotape recorded and patients were interviewed after visits. Generalized estimating equations were used to analyze the data. Results. Two hundred and seventy-nine patients participated. Providers were significantly more likely to educate patients about glaucoma and glaucoma medications if they were newly prescribed glaucoma medications. Providers were significantly less likely to educate African American patients about glaucoma. Providers were significantly less likely to educate patients of lower health literacy about glaucoma medications. Conclusion. Eye care providers did not always educate patients about glaucoma or glaucoma medications. Practice Implications. Providers should consider educating more patients about what glaucoma is and how it is treated so that glaucoma patients can better understand their disease. Even if a patient has already been educated once, it is important to reinforce what has been taught before.
Objectives. To assess the association between scores on the Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) and pharmacy student admission variables.
Methods. During the student admissions process, cognitive data, including undergraduate grade point average and Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores, were collected from matriculating doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students. Between 2007 and 2009, the HSRT was administered to 329 first-year PharmD students. Correlations between HSRT scores and cognitive data, previous degree, and gender were examined.
Results. After controlling for other predictors, 3 variables were significantly associated with HSRT scores: percentile rank on the reading comprehension (p<0.001), verbal (p<0.001), and quantitative (p<0.001) subsections of the PCAT.
Conclusions. Scores on the reading comprehension, verbal, and quantitative sections of the PCAT were significantly associated with HSRT scores. Some elements of critical thinking may be measured by these PCAT subsections. However, the HSRT offers information absent in standard cognitive admission criteria.
Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT); critical thinking; admissions; Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
Although glucocorticoids (GCs) are known to exert numerous effects in the hippocampus, their chronic regulatory functions remain poorly understood. Moreover, evidence is inconsistent regarding the long-standing hypothesis that chronic GC exposure promotes brain aging/Alzheimer disease. Here, we adrenalectomized male F344 rats at 15 months of age, maintained them for 3 months with implanted corticosterone (CORT) pellets producing low or intermediate (glucocorticoid receptor–activating) blood levels of CORT, and performed microarray/pathway analyses in hippocampal CA1. We defined the chronic GC-dependent transcriptome as 393 genes that exhibited differential expression between intermediate and low CORT groups. Short-term CORT (4 days) did not recapitulate this transcriptome. Functional processes/pathways overrepresented by chronic CORT–up-regulated genes included learning/plasticity, differentiation, glucose metabolism, and cholesterol biosynthesis, whereas processes overrepresented by CORT–down-regulated genes included inflammatory/immune/glial responses and extracellular structure. These profiles indicate that GCs chronically activate neuronal/metabolic processes while coordinately repressing a glial axis of reactivity/inflammation. We then compared the GC transcriptome with a previously defined hippocampal aging transcriptome, revealing a high proportion of common genes. Although CORT and aging moved expression of some common genes in the same direction, the majority were shifted in opposite directions by CORT and aging (eg, glial inflammatory genes down-regulated by CORT are up-regulated with aging). These results contradict the hypothesis that GCs simply promote brain aging and also suggest that the opposite direction shifts during aging reflect resistance to CORT regulation. Therefore, we propose a new model in which aging-related GC resistance develops in some target pathways, whereas GC overstimulation develops in others, together generating much of the brain aging phenotype.
The purpose of the study was to examine: (a) how patient adherence and eye drop technique were associated with visual field defect severity and (b) how general glaucoma adherence self-efficacy and eye drop technique self-efficacy were related to visual field defect severity.
Cross-sectional study conducted at a single private practice site.
Patients on eye drops for their glaucoma.
We measured subjects’ adherence to glaucoma medications through Medication Events Monitoring System (MEMS) devices and assessed eye drop instillation technique by video-recording. We measured general glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy using a 10-item scale and eye drop technique self-efficacy using a 6-item scale. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze the data.
Main outcome measures
Visual field defect severity.
Patients who were less than 80% adherent according to the MEMS caps were significantly more likely to have worse defect severity. Patients with lower scores on the general glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy scale were also significantly more likely to have worse defect severity. Eye drop technique and eye drop technique self-efficacy were not significantly related to visual field defect severity.
Eye care providers need to assess patient adherence and work with those patients with poor adherence to find ways to improve their ability and self-efficacy in using their glaucoma medications.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may disrupt control of blood pressure in hypertensive patients and increase their risk of morbidity, mortality, and the costs of care. The objective of this study was to examine the association between incident use of NSAIDs and blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult hypertensive patients to determine the effects of their first prescription for NSAID on systolic blood pressure and antihypertensive drug intensification. Data were collected from an electronic medical record serving an academic general medicine practice in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Using propensity scores to minimize bias, we matched a cohort of 1,340 users of NSAIDs with 1,340 users of acetaminophen. Propensity score models included covariates likely to affect blood pressure or the use of NSAIDs. The study outcomes were the mean systolic blood pressure measurement after starting NSAIDs and changes in antihypertensive therapy.
Compared to patients using acetaminophen, NSAID users had a 2 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure (95% CI, 0.7 to 3.3). Ibuprofen was associated with a 3 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure compared to naproxen (95% CI, 0.5 to 4.6), and a 5 mmHg increase compared to celecoxib (95% CI, 0.4 to 10). The systolic blood pressure increase was 3 mmHg in a subgroup of patients concomitantly prescribed angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or calcium channel blockers and 6 mmHg among those prescribed a beta-adrenergic blocker. Blood pressure changes in patients prescribed diuretics or multiple antihypertensives were not statistically significant.
Compared to acetaminophen, incident use of NSAIDs, particularly ibuprofen, is associated with a small increase in systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Effects in patients prescribed diuretics or multiple antihypertensives are negligible.
NSAIDs; Hypertension; Blood pressure; Propensity score
Objective. The objectives of the study were to (a) describe various factors potentially related to objectively measured adherence to glaucoma medications and self-reported glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy and (b) examine the relationship between patient race, the number of patient reported-problems, and adherence in taking their glaucoma medication. This was a cross-sectional study conducted at two glaucoma subspecialist referral ophthalmology practices. Methods. We measured subjects' reported problems in using glaucoma medications, adherence to glaucoma medications utilizing the Medication Events Monitoring System (MEMS) devices, and general glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy using a previously validated 10-item scale. Multivariable logistic and linear regression was used to analyze the data. Results. Seventy-one percent of patients self-reported at least one problem in using their glaucoma medications. White patients were more than 3 times more likely to be 80% adherent in using their glaucoma medications than non-White patients. Patients who had glaucoma longer reported significantly higher glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy. Patients who reported more problems in using their medications had significantly lower glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy. Conclusions. Eye care providers should assess patient reported problems and glaucoma medication adherence self-efficacy and work with patients to find ways to reduce the number of problems that patients experience to increase their self-efficacy in using glaucoma medications.
When patients consult more than one source of information about their medications, they may encounter conflicting information. Although conflicting information has been associated with negative outcomes, including worse medication adherence, little is known about how patients make health decisions when they receive conflicting information. The objective of this study was to explore the decision making strategies that individuals with arthritis use when they receive conflicting medication information. Qualitative telephone interviews were conducted with 20 men and women with arthritis. Interview vignettes posed scenarios involving conflicting information from different sources (e.g., doctor, pharmacist, and relative), and respondents were asked how they would respond to the situation. Data analysis involved inductive coding to identify emergent themes and deductive contextualization to make meaning from the emergent themes. In response to conflicting medication information, patients used rules of thumb, trial and error, weighed benefits and risks, and sought more information, especially from a doctor. Patients relied heavily on trial and error when there was no conflicting information involved in the vignette. In contrast, patients used rules of thumb as a unique response to conflicting information. These findings increase our understanding of what patients do when they receive conflicting medication information. Given that patient exposure to conflicting information is likely to increase alongside the proliferation of medication information on the Internet, patients may benefit from assistance in identifying the most appropriate decision strategies for dealing with conflicting information, including information about best information sources.
Medical decision making; medication adherence; doctor-patient communication; heuristics and biases; arthritis; information seeking
Selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors have been linked to cardiac death. The mechanism for this adverse effect appears to be by ischemic insult; however another mechanism could involve hyperkalemia. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of selective COX-2 inhibitors and non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on serum potassium concentration and the electrocardiogram.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted using propensity score matching of patients from an inner-city academic medical center at Indianapolis, Indiana. Two hundred and two patients prescribed selective COX-2 inhibitors were matched to 202 patients prescribed non-selective NSAIDs using propensity scores methods. Outcomes included change in serum potassium concentration from baseline and the risk of an abnormal electrocardiogram.
Compared to patients prescribed non-selective NSAIDs, those prescribed a selective COX-2 inhibitor had a higher risk of serum potassium increase greater than 5 mEq/L (OR, 2.56; 95%CI, 1.03–6.36). However, patients prescribed selective COX-2 inhibitors had no greater risk of electrocardiogram abnormality (OR, 1.16; 95%CI, 0.74–1.82).
Selective COX-2 inhibitors may have a greater risk of hyperkalemia than non-selective NSAIDs. This study was exploratory with small numbers of patients. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and any association with cardiovascular events.
hyperkalemia; NSAIDs; selective COX-2 inhibitors; retrospective cohort study; propensity score
To describe the funding, education, enrollment, and graduation patterns from economic, social, and administrative sciences PhD programs in colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States.
Economic, social, and administrative sciences PhD programs were identified from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Web site. A 41-item online survey instrument was sent to the director of graduate studies of each identified program. Only programs offering a PhD degree were included in the study.
Of the 26 programs surveyed, 20 (77%) provided useable responses to the survey instrument. Approximately 91% of PhD programs guarantee funding to incoming students with an average commitment of 2.9 years. On average, students were paid a stipend of $18,000 per year for commitments to research and teaching assistantships, each averaging approximately 2 years in length. Programs admitted an average of 3.5 students per year and graduated approximately 85% of entering students. The majority of students are non-US citizens and accept positions in either academic or industrial positions after graduation.
Most economic, social, and administrative sciences PhD programs guarantee funding to incoming PhD candidates. Programs offering funding packages significantly below the average may be at a competitive disadvantage. It is unclear whether the number of students graduating from PhD programs is adequate to fulfill academic and industrial needs.
graduate education; academia; social and administrative sciences; doctor of philosophy
Anemia is common in chronic kidney disease (CKD), and suboptimal management of anemia can lead to serious health complications and poor quality of life.
1) To describe health-related and overall quality of life among patients entering a clinic focused on anemia management; 2) to compare their baseline quality of life with other relevant populations; 3) to explore predictors of quality of life prior to anemia management; and 4) to explore changes in quality of life over 1 year for patients managed in the clinic.
The Kidney Disease Quality of Life questionnaire – short form (KDQOL™-SF) was used to measure kidney disease specific and overall quality of life in a cohort of pre-dialysis CKD patients (n=79) enrolled in the clinic from January 2003 to September 2004. Baseline measures were compared to previously published measurements. The influence of demographic and clinical characteristics on baseline quality of life was explored. Changes in quality of life were evaluated over time.
Patients with CKD entering the clinic had lower overall quality of life compared with estimates from the general US population (physical composite 35.7 vs. 48.4 and mental composite 46.0 vs. 50.2, respectively). Clinic patients had better kidney disease specific scores than patients with end stage kidney disease. General quality of life scores were similar regardless of kidney disease severity, with the exception of physical functioning which was lowest for patients with end-stage disease. Hemoglobin was the only factor predictive of quality of life. Over time, quality of life improved among patients managed in the CKD clinic, with statistically significant improvements in sleep (change of 6.2 ± 15.2; p < 0.05) and social function (change of 11.6 ± 27.7; p < 0.05).
Patients with anemia of chronic kidney disease reported reduced quality of life compared to populations without kidney disease, but better quality of life compared to populations with end stage kidney disease on dialysis. Quality of life generally improved among patients managed in the multidisciplinary anemia clinic.
Quality of life; chronic kidney disease; anemia; SF-36; KDQOL; multidisciplinary
To assess differences in the practice of pharmacy and in job satisfaction between graduates of a nontraditional doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program and a bachelor of science (BS) in pharmacy program.
Two separate survey instruments were mailed to 293 PharmD graduates and 293 BS graduates.
Two hundred fourteen (73.0%) of the 293 nontraditional PharmD graduates and 189 (64.5%) of the 293 BS graduates completed the survey instruments. Nontraditional PharmD graduates expressed greater satisfaction, both in their current position and with pharmacy as a career, compared to BS graduates. Nontraditional PharmD graduates were more likely than BS graduates to practice in a hospital and have more clinical responsibilities.
Nontraditional PharmD graduates are more likely to have greater satisfaction with their job and with pharmacy as a career compared to BS-trained pharmacists.
nontraditional PharmD degree; job responsibilities; job satisfaction
To determine the extent to which the structured interview is used in the PharmD admissions process in US colleges and schools of pharmacy, and the prevalence and content of interviewer training.
A survey instrument consisting of 7 questions regarding interviews and interviewer training was sent to 92 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States that were accredited or seeking accreditation.
Sixty survey instruments (65% response rate) were returned. The majority of the schools that responded (80%) used interviews as part of the PharmD admissions process. Of the schools that used an interview as part of the admissions process, 86% provided some type of interviewer training and 13% used a set of predefined questions in admissions interviews.
Most colleges and schools of pharmacy use some components of the structured interview in the PharmD admissions process; however, training for interviewers varies widely among colleges and schools of pharmacy.
structured interview; interview; interviewer training; admissions